As I sat under a huge automatic advertising banner in the middle of a crowded shopping centre during school holidays today, I suddenly realised that I was slurping a mango frappe/smoothie as fast as I could.
I checked in with my body and found that my thirst and hunger were both satisfied. The taste of the frappe had lessened. But as I put the frappe down, my eyes were continually drawn to it, my fingers twitching to hold it again and finish it. But I was satiated. So why did I continually have this urge to finish it?
Restriction often causes us to feel as though each meal is the last we might have for some time. Yet in our modern society we have an abundance of food. The conscious process that followed was simply that if the frappe was to be continually desired later once thirst had risen again, another could be bought. And just like that, the urge to not leave any behind disappeared. I was free of the frappe.
The no-waste mentality leads many of us to stuff ourselves by “cleaning” our plates. Yet food always seems to taste better when you’re hungry, not when you’re full and trying to fit in those last few bites. Often this comes from childhood, when the threat of not being able to leave the table or receiving no dessert hangs over our ability to eat what had been provided. In both situations, fullness is not regarded. Or even younger, when parents attempt to coax their babies to continue to eat out of worry, despite indications that food is no longer wanted.
Stressing and obsessing over food is surely less healthy than simply giving yourself permission to eat!